Tina Kelley



                              Free Day for Sale


If I bought one, I'd hop on a bike
with the little one strapped in the back,
he who doesn't talk too much, and ride
on my favorite roads from high school,
too many towns away.

I would bask in that feeling of writerly enthusiasm,
like back when, in letters, I would narrate my life
while I lived it for "you." I'd regain that delight
in being semi-sweet on someone.

By noon my wee widgeon would have that smell in his hair,
fresher than fresh air, and I would put him down for his nap,
take a nap in the grass, because perfect weather can best be
honored by wasting a bit, by sleeping through. It's happy sleep.

When I wake up, everything is tinged green.
At home, I deadhead the garden, how satisfying that is,
erasing the bad, no need to posit the good, no compulsion
to create, just remove what distracts, crowds out, and clutters.

Oh I have been eating the candy hearts without reading them lately.
I have been flustered when every step forward requires three others.
Wash the cutting board, no, the sink is full of dirty dishes,
no the dishwasher is full of clean ones. Not today. Today is free.

My older child rains poetry down on my head, inspirations, lines
two an hour: "I want to be a toy because I would never die."
"God is just a planet." Even my spam box cooperates,
with the title of this one!

Later, in the dark alive, when you have put
the little ones to bed, angina is a powerful word,
but it is close to the love I feel for you.
And when I have tired you out, sweet husband,
I watch you sleep and wish I could paint,
the fleetingness, the depth, the impossibility
of the preserving I try to do on days like this.

I would call it
Still life with ice sculpture.
Still life with candles.


Tina Kelley, UCity Review, Issue 21.